In a recent article announcement on LAW360, Medicare finalized new standards that community
mental health centers must meet to qualify for reimbursement. Lawmakers have now more precisely delineated 184 pages of a “final rule” where lawmakers are attempting to ” boost quality of care and cut down on fraud in a sector where bogus billing and mistreatment of psychologically fragile patients have become increasing concerns.”
Requirements now relate to:
- personnel qualifications
- client rights and
- approaches to treatment
How will these new requirements impact the growth of telemental health? Significantly. Many mental health clinics are not organizing to work within new opportunities being created by Health Care Reform. Those opportunities involve the expansion of Medicaid services through many of these mental health clinics.
Our services are just about to be made available to many more consumers starting January 1, 2014. Telemental health is being seen by many mental health clinics as a significant path to gaining greater access to patients who need services, at lower cost and with comparable outcomes. Lawmakers are already beginning to show us how mental health care will soon be transformed and made more accountable.
Whether these changes are all to the good is a question yet to be answered. For now, we will continue our best to keep you informed of the many far-reaching changes underfoot.